The past few decades have seen increasingly huge technological advances every year, and this year is no different. While most of the tech trends for 2013 aren’t based on completely new items, these seven technology trends are expanding in big ways in the next few months.
1. Augmented Reality
It all started with QR codes, which let you interact with the world in new ways through your Smartphone. The next step for augmented reality in 2013? Google Glass. These high-tech glasses put your internet right in front of your eyes – literally – and overlay the real world with digital information, everywhere you go.
2. Cloud Services
Cloud computing for businesses is taking off, but it’s a great option for everyday consumers, too. From being able to access your home computer files anywhere to being able to check out your movie collection on your Smartphone, cloud services are expanding and will continue to do so until we’re all living in the cloud.
3. 3D Printing
Perhaps one of the most interesting technology trends of 2013 is 3D printing. Using a “printer” that spits plastic “ink” into three-dimensional forms, you can customize anything from jewelry to the more controversial working gun. This type of printing is relatively affordable and will usher in a new era of personalization and customization.
4. Sensors and Smart Devices
The so-called Web of Things is starting to connect virtually every electronic device in our lives together. So you can shut your garage door with your Smartphone or turn off your car alarm from your tablet. As the web becomes stronger and involves more of our devices, who knows where it will take us?
5. Touch-Free Interfaces
Touch-free interfaces started with gaming in the form of the Xbox Kinect, but they’re spreading into other types of technology – witness Google Glass and Apple’s Siri. Now that everything from your computer to your phone to your television can come with a touch screen, we’re quickly moving past that to touch-free tech.
6. Native Content
Content marketing is the name of the game online these days, but that no longer means just putting up a few blog posts. Now entertainment companies like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are offering native content in the form of shows and series that only subscribers can access. Netflix had great success with House of Cards, a political drama featuring Kevin Spacey, and other online entertainment venues are following suit.
7. Massively Online
You don’t have to be a gamer to have heard about the massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft. The hugely successful online game by Blizzard lets players actually interact with others – thousands and thousands of others – while inside the game. Now, more companies, including education companies and universities, are offering massively online interfaces that allow them to reach thousands of individuals worldwide.
Tips for Saving Money on Tech
All this new technology can put a dent in your wallet if you’re not careful. Here are a few tips to save:
- Wait it out. If you don’t absolutely have to have the latest thing, you’ll save money. Wait a few months until the next big thing hits the market, and the device you want will be much more affordable. Plus, once it’s been on the market a while, more of the bugs will have been worked out.
- Compare your options. When it comes to things like native content or massively online courses, be sure to compare the available options. Check out Hulu’s native content versus the content from Netflix, for instance, before you decide which one to pay for.
- Reap the rewards. If you are going to invest in a new device featuring the latest technology, consider using your credit card. The best credit cards offer extra product warranties, and could get you some great cash-back or travel rewards. (source)
- Do your research. Check out online expert and consumer reviews for any new piece of tech you’re interested in purchasing. Otherwise, you’re likely to throw away money on a less-than-suitable purchase. (source)
You don’t have to spend a fortune to stay up on the latest technology. Some of it, in fact, will just eventually make its way around to you – whether you like it or not!